Dave Byrnes' Adventures

Hume & Hovell Walking Track - 2013

Overview     Planning     Schedule     Map     Diary     Pictures

I will be using the Hume and Hovell Walking Track Map Kit, published by NSW Crown Lands.  To aid in navigation, I have purchased the recommended topographical maps and will be carrying a GPS which has a detailed topographical map and a track tracing the H&HWT prepared by me.  Maps and batteries for the GPS will be stored in the food drums secreted along the trail (see below).
Gear: Given the risk of snow storms and very cold weather at higher altitudes and knowing how arduous and rough the trail will be in places, I will be using high-quality lightweight gear with a few compromises on weight in favour of durability.

Entertainment & Communications:
I will have a small Sony AM/FM Walkman Radio (because I love listening to the local radio stations, want to be aware of the weather forecasts, and am a current affairs addict) with me along with my iPhone 4 and its store of the 750 greatest songs of all time.  I also plan to carry a lightweight Ultrabook laptop which, tethered to the iPhone, will allow me to stay in touch and update my blog.  In case of emergency, I am carrying a Personal Locator Beacon (Kannad Safelink SOLO) which can be set off to alert authorities to my location and need for assistance (hopefully, never to be used).

I plan to begin hiking south on Wednesday, 8 May 2013, from Yass.  I will travel by train on the preceding day from my home on the NSW Central Coast down to Yass.  On completion of the hike in Albury, I will be able to catch a train back home from there.

Daily Schedule:
I have planned a schedule that will have me completing the hike in 17 days without rest days, but am flexible and can take extra days if necessary.

The H&HWT passes near a few small towns and I will make use of available accommodation there, but will be carrying a light one-person tent and am planning to camp out most nights.

Because there are only limited supplies available en route, I am planning to be mostly self-sufficient, food-wise.  I will hide two plastic drums of food at points along the route containing sufficient food, I hope, to get me to the next drum.  I'm hoping to keep my food weight down to about 1kg per day and expect to eat as follows: Breakfast - muesli (pre-packed with powdered milk) and coffee; Lunch - muesli bars and chocolate; Dinner - soup, dehydrated meal, chocolate and hot chocolate; Snacks - pre-packed daily gorp/scroggin packs (peanuts, M&Ms, sultanas mix).  At each drum, which I have planned to be at the end of a day's hike (but, of course, may not be!) I have included additional "treats" such as corn chips, chocolate, preserved fruit, rice-cream and cola for that night's consumption.  I used this method for my hike along the Australian Alps Walking Track in 2011 and it worked well.  To deal with concerns about animals (rats, wombats and goannas) gnawing their way through the plastic, each drum will be placed inside a dark green garbage bag (to help with camouflage) and have sprayed insecticide inside and around the garbage bag in the hope that the smell will mask any food aromas and deter predators.  The drum locations will be about 50 metres off the walking track adjacent to points I believe I can remember and I will note GPS locations.  If, for any reason, my food drop is unobtainable then I will have to hike out to a road and hitchhike to the nearest town where I can resupply.

Generally, at higher altitudes I will trust the water quality straight from streams.  However, I will be carrying water purification tablets which I will use when in doubt.  Water will also be available from some tanks at campsites and other locations.

I intend to wear lightweight and quick-dry shorts and a T-Shirt for hiking along with boots and gaiters.  To deal with colder weather, I will also be carrying some high quality lightweight thermals, a lightweight synthetic sweater (MontBell Ultralight Down Inner Jacket), beanie and inner and outer gloves in case it gets colder.  I will also carry a high-quality lightweight rain-jacket and trousers and a spare pair of shorts and a T-Shirt for camp use.  I will carry a pair of trail-running shoes to wear around camp and, maybe, to cross rivers, as well as being spares for hiking.

I have been consistently running 80-100km per week, so my cardio-vascular fitness will be good, and I will use trekking poles to take the pressure off my bad knee while walking. 



Round Ireland

Hume & Hovell Walking Track

Via Alpina

Australian Alps Walking Track

Land's End to John O'Groats

Round Oz Bike Record Attempt

Round Oz Bike Record Attempt

Round Oz Bike Record Attempt

Australia Tip to Top MTB

Adelaide to Darwin MTB

Sydney to Melbourne MTB

Three Peaks Race

Appalachian Trail

Alpine Track

You can email Dave directly at dave@davebyrnes.com.au or subscribe to his Adventure Blogs here.

You can see Dave's Running Blog here.